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Divide single-teacher elementary schools for over-age children: Focus group
Single-teacher elementary schools are common in the interior villages and remote areas up to class V. However, Jaipur-based NGO called Centre for Unfolding Learning Potentials (CULP) is working with over-age dropouts and non-starter Muslim girls in the single-teacher schools up to Class VIII which is a unique situation.

The single-teacher schools are being run in Niwai block of Tonk district in Rajasthan in small habitations populated by Muslim communities who were earlier averse to getting their girls educated, especially the girls who had never been to school earlier.

For CULP, during the last two years, it had been all fine since the girls were pursuing studies till grade V with the established technique of the three-group and three-stage learning model by restructuring the curriculum as multi-level learning units. But, as soon as the upper primary stage of education came, it became difficult to handle the content and systematic learning by the teachers.

In order to tide over challenge of further education of girls at the upper primary stage or full length of elementary education in the single teacher situation, a focus group of a resource person and three middle level functionaries of CULP was held to recommend the school and curriculum organisation strategies suitable for single-teacher elementary schools.

The focus group suggested that now the schools should be divided in sub-schools called 'Vidya Praveshaika' (Classes I-III); 'Vidya Madhyama' (Classes IV-VI) and 'Vidya Diksha' (Classes VI-VII) with nine self-contained study units for each subject at each of the three sub-school levels. The study units should have enough of self-learning material so the student could manage learning when the teacher moves from one sub-school to another sub-school.

The middle level functionaries are developing the study units of about 30 add pages as exemplary material for each subject to be used for teacher training of 10 days during this month to develop more material to implement the new teaching strategy for single teacher elementary schools.

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